icehawk

icehawk

  • Commented on Someone please cancel 2019 already?
    don’t extradite Julian back to Australia Given current Australian practice of taking Ozzie career criminals in their 30s who moved to Oz from NZ aged less than three, and deporting them ‘back’ to NZ, you can take your bloody Assange...
  • Commented on Someone please cancel 2019 already?
    a system that relies on an engaged, clueful and informed populace has failed, dismally Indeed, it has. Alas. And so Socrates is dead. The demos was never engaged, clueful and informed. And yet, we seem to have muddle through....
  • Commented on Someone please cancel 2019 already?
    Running for President was the first I ever heard of him. I first met Trump as a character in the cartoon 'Bloom County'. Who got stuck in Bill the Cat's body due to a mistaken brain-transplant. I didn't realise...
  • Commented on Crawling from the wreckage
    After Munich, Chamberlain told the Cabinet "It would be madness for the country to stop rearming", Also, Chamberlain gathered support for a declaration of war. FDR would have liked to do more to stop Hitler, but the US congress and...
  • Commented on Crawling from the wreckage
    The actual Vorkosigans would probably be better, neofascist tendencies not disregarded. They would, at least, recognise Australia as the half-arsed job of terraforming that it is. Or should I say “angloforming”? The acclimatisation societies of the British Empire tried...
  • Commented on Crawling from the wreckage
    "Traditional tribal chieftainship?" I'm not sure there is such a thing, There very much is such a thing. Or maybe "many such things". Rangatira, and rangitiratanga both were and are really important parts of Maori culture. And when I lived...
  • Commented on Crawling from the wreckage
    Well, the number of people living in extreme poverty in China, about a quarter of the world population, has definitely been declining, for specific Chinese reasons. True in its smaller lookalike rival Vietnam as well. But leave them out, and...
  • Commented on Crawling from the wreckage
    Aotearoa elected a young, almost-pregnant woman as Prime Minister on a platform of undoing austerity and reducing the impact of climate change. I think the "almost-" is in the wrong part of that sentence. She was fully pregnant. Not just...
  • Commented on Crawling from the wreckage
    Anyway, humans do not suffer from the tragedy of the commons. Sorry. It's been disproved, and it's an urban legend. That will be great comfort to the North Atlantic cod industry. People who talk of the "Tragedy of the Commons"...
  • Commented on Peak Brexit
    You say "proliferation is a political problem not a technological one" like that makes it easier. So is climate change... To take this thread back about 800 comments... so is the issue of "individuals owning cars" vs "using a car...
  • Commented on Peak Brexit
    This whole "which power generation technology should we choose" argument is stupid. The answer, obviously, is not to pick a technology. Pick several. Wind plus solar plus hydro plus tidal-powered plus some storage utilities gives a cheap, reliable, efficient network,...
  • Commented on Peak Brexit
    Once we have electric cars and something resembling decent AI, people won't own cars anymore. Cars being electric rather than petrol-driven is irrelevant. Obviously. I don't see the AI connection either. What does driverlessness have to do with car ownership?...
  • Commented on Peak Brexit
    Be it noted that abolishing slavery in England was a cheap gesture, as there were no slaves in England and hadn't been since the days of QE1 But it was the first step to abolishing the slave trade (in 1807)...
  • Commented on Publishing: A Slice of Life
    I think people are approaching this phishing attack on publishers from the wrong point of view. Perhaps the plan is not to steal Charlie's manuscripts, but to add to them. And to manuscripts by other authors in publishing houses around...
  • Commented on Publishing: A Slice of Life
    Trendy targets for phishing scams in the UK appear to be private schools. Trying to get a list of parents' email addresses. So they can send them "Note that the school bank account details have changed, please send fee payments...
  • Commented on Publishing: A Slice of Life
    Those who've done jury service can attest: most crimes are just damn stupid. Tragically stupid. Really, really tragic: really really stupid. Just putting "Cyber-" in front to make it "cyber-"criminals doesn't necessarily make them smart. You don't need to be...
  • Commented on Do my Homework
    "The first point is that ground-breaking innovations are NOT made by putting an army of even genius-level monkeys to work, but by providing the right conditions for the tiny number of exceptional people." I think my disagreement is on the...
  • Commented on Do my Homework
    You give a convincing set of examples where some scientific institutes/groups are vastly more successful than others. I'd add Xerox's Palo Alto Research Group as another extraordinary hotspot. You then seem want to use this to evidence to get to...
  • Commented on Do my Homework
    Read Frans de Waal's "Are We Smart Enough To Know How Smart Animals Are?" Great book! I also agree re the moving goalposts of AI. Though that goes both ways: things people used to think didn't take intelligence, we now...
  • Commented on Do my Homework
    Of these, Darwin was a wealthy, well-connected, best-selling author (from Voyage of the Beagle), while Wallace was an itinerant animal collector in Indonesia who wrote the paper while recovering from malaria. Guess who got the fame? Darwin wrote extremely well....
  • Commented on Do my Homework
    Re: innovation. The question of why Europe did better than China or the middle-east at innovation from C13-C18 is much studied. One part of the answer is that while China had a monolithic knowledge system - one giant school of...
  • Commented on Do my Homework
    That Neuromancer is better remembered as a cyberpunk classic than Hardwired doesn’t surprise me Walter Jon William’s Cyberpunk stories had sustance. His prose was well written and very readable, but not particularly stylish. Gibson’s prose had style. And this was...
  • Commented on Do my Homework
    "That the way of organizing states will continue to mirror the westphalian model " That was Cyberpunk. Everything from Neuromancer to Hardwired to Snow Crash to etc - it was about the dystopic mess when the nation-state model collapses. Very...
  • Commented on Media Piracy and Unpronounceable Names
    I do not believe this problem can be solved as long as we stick to a model that assumes everybody has a single immutable identity (I don't: do you?) 'Icehawk' meets the standards I like. Anonymous enough that a casual...
  • Commented on Media Piracy and Unpronounceable Names
    I don't like commercial anonymity. I'd like a decent cop, with a decent warrant, to be able to have a decent go at finding out who bought that ammo. Nor does it seem terrible to have them checking whether someone...
  • Commented on "I doubt me an it be commercial."
    I'm leaning towards one of three possible explanations: 4. There is no large underground facility. Never was. Instead there are a number of academics and administrators who pocketed a few hundred million between them and built some very nifty simulations....
  • Commented on "I doubt me an it be commercial."
    If we're guessing, then I'll take "Illegal Bitcoin mining" for 10 points, please. Astronomy uses quite a lot of hard-core compute resources. Quite a reasonable amount of money gets spent on compute clusters. I just got slapped in the face...
  • Commented on "I doubt me an it be commercial."
    So what have you read that you're glad of, published for no plausible commercial reason though it was? The March North Thanks for that!...
  • Commented on Taxonomy of story, or, why murder?
    Incidentally, the problem with using violence as a dopamine-reward payoff trigger in fiction is that you keep having to escalate. Only in SF & Fantasy series. SF & Fantasy has this obsession with leveling up. Other genres don't see this...
  • Commented on Sitrep
    Water pollution is possibly the most severe (every time I've been to China, I've been warned not to drink or brush my teeth with tap water; more than 90% of China's bodies of water are severely polluted), The "tap water"...
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